By Neil Leverett
- Noah Lyles wins 200m Gold as Adam Gemili again misses out on a World medal, on Day 5 of the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha
- Donovan Brazier completes 800m track double for the USA, as Dina Asher-Smith remains on course for title
- Kirani James throws hat into men’s 400m ring, whilst Salwa Eid Naser set to challenge Shaunae Miller-Uibo for women’s crown
DOHA, QATAR – Noah Lyles wins 200m Gold, with Britain’s Adam Gemili suffering more heartache on Day 5 of the World Athletics Championships 2019 in Doha, Qatar.
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Lyles claims 200m Gold; Gemili misses out again
Noah Lyles delivered on Day five of the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, taking Gold in the men’s 200m final ahead of Canada’s Andre de Grasse and Alex Quinonez of Ecuador, leaving Britain’s Adam Gemili once more to finish in another agonizing fourth place in a major World final.
In a far more competitive race for the title than many expected, it was Gemili who led off the bend, before Lyles turned on the afterburners, bringing De Grasse with him – the Canadian improving on his 100m bronze of Saturday night.
With Gemili overhauled, Quinonez began to surge but Lyles held on to his lead. Having emptied the tanks, Gemili battled to cling on to third place but with metres to go began to tread water, being pipped on the line by the Ecuadorian.
As the medalists celebrated, a crestfallen Briton sunk to the track to again suck in reality, after coming within inches of an Olympic bronze three years ago in Rio and who must now look to defend Britain’s 4x100m relay crown from London.
Asher-Smith leads 200m field
Having won silver behind the indomitable Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in Sunday’s 100m women’s showdown, Dina Asher-Smith now looks on course to go the extra step in the 200m final on Wednesday, setting the fastest time of 22.16 once more in the semi-finals.
With Fraser-Pryce, Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Dafne Schippers already having withdrawn and Blessing Okagbare having been disqualified in the heats, sprint double Olympic champion from Rio Elaine Thompson then also pulled out due to her problematic achilles, to further open the door to the top of the podium.
Asher-Smith now looks a class apart from the field, but will still need to come out top in the final. Brittany Brown looks the most equipped to push the Briton, but clocked 0.3 of a second slower, as star of the heats Aminatou Seyni failed to qualify.
British duo Beth Dobbin and Jodie Williams also missed out on the final, but the home nations will have the shining light of athletics in Asher-Smith going for a second medal of Doha 2019, which could just be shimmering gold.
Brazier 800m king
Donovan Brazier stormed to the men’s 800m Doha title, as the American proved too strong for his rivals running a Championship and American record time of 1:42.34, with Bosnian Amel Tuka taking an historic silver for his nation, and Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich picking up the bronze.
Responding to Puerto Rico’s Wesley Vazquez‘s typically electric start, Brazier coolly picked his way from the middle of the pack. Like in the semi-final, Vazquez flailed toward the finish – this time down the back straight – as Tuka attempted to go with the flying Brazier. he American had opened too much of an advantage however, and coasted home down the finishing straight.
As Brazier contemplates life at the top of his event however, should Nijel Amos return from injury in sufficient manner to put together a consistent season next year, there could be quite the head to head in Tokyo next summer.
Naser, Miller-Uibo set for showdown
The women’s 400m finale has been set up beautifully, with both Salwa Eid Naser and Shaunae Miller-Uibo the clear favourites to take the Doha title. As the almost robotic Bahrainian cruised to win her final, with defending champion Phyllis Francis left in her wake, coming home in 49.79.
Miller-Uibo goes into the final fastest, but is set to the pushed all the way by Naser in her neighbouring borderland territory. Shericka Jackson also takes her place in the final as a fastest loser, whilst compatriot Stephenie-Ann McPherson is a decent hope for a medal.
GB’s Laviai Nielsen, after a strong opening 300m – coming off the final bend in third – faded badly in her gamble to push for a final spot and finished eighth, whilst despite setting a new season’s best, Emily Diamond came up short also.
James back in 400m contention
After a run of consistent injury and illness-related problems, Kirani James threw his hat back into the ring for the men’s 400m title, as the Grenadian clocked 44.94 to progress fastest into the semi-finals.
James, a 2011 champion and gold medalist in London 2012 at the age of 19, has put in sporadic appearances this season as juggles health issues, but here he looked in promising form to win his heat in comfort.
As did Machel Cedenio and Akeem Bloomfield who came home in first and second in the same heat Matt Hudson-Smith pulled up within 10 metres of the gun, as the Briton’s calf problems show no sign of relenting – having only returned to competition in July.
America’s Fred Kerley and Michael Norman look will challenge James for a likely gold, with the latter running 45 seconds flat. Italy’s David Re looks in contention for a medal after a solid season, as does Emmaneul Korir after missing out in the 800m final, whilst Rabah Yousif ensured Britain with semi-final involvement.
The 2019 World Athletics Championship in Doha continue on Day 6, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson going in the heptathlon, beginning at 3:05 pm UK time.
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